April 20, 2023

5 Email & SMS Marketing Strategies to Maximize Reach & Engagement


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When mentioning the mix of any two marketing techniques, doubts are bound to rise. But email and SMS make for a formidable match and are rarely treated the same. But let’s forget all that and start with an example. 

A modern marketing strategy uses multichannel (or omnichannel) approaches to find, attract, convert, and retain customers. As a result, brands have a wider reach thanks to cross-promotion and consumers' tendency to jump from channel to channel before making a purchase.

It should be noted, however, that all platforms aren’t the same and neither are your ways of interacting with customers, so it’s only natural that some work better together than others. Multichannel marketing is often praised for its benefits, but incompatible marketing mixes pose challenges to the entire process.

Indeed, just as there are counterproductive multichannel methods, there are formidable power couples in the digital marketing sphere waiting to be unleashed. The use of SMS in conjunction with email marketing makes for one such combo.

How Effective Is Email With The Younger Generation?

Every time a new technology or societal change occurs, it prompts marketers to declare that all is lost, the future is doomed, and so are your traditional marketing techniques. But if history has taught us anything about generational marketing challenges, it’s that you should not worry. It is inevitable that marketers will face challenges across generations, but they are adept at adapting.

Take, for instance, how new social channels emerge every few years, proclaiming to be the newest way to reach younger generations. Yet, statistics show that 58% of Gen Zers still check their email multiple times a day, making it abundantly clear that they’re not giving up on it anytime soon. 

The younger generation is forward-thinking and conscious of their money. A study conducted by Bluecore and NAPCO Research has found that 68% of Gen Zers prefer getting regular brand updates through email and not any social media. So, to reach out to them on their level, you should include email marketing in your toolbox.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should stick to your old ways since the younger generation prefers your emails to be tailored to their individual wants and needs. In fact, personalization is incredibly important to consumers of all ages, specifically the younger generations, making email a great channel for delivering it.

SMS Marketing in The Digital Age - Is It Outdated? 

Cell phones are virtually ubiquitous today, and almost everyone keeps them on all the time. In turn, this has made SMS (Short Messaging Service) marketing the most rapidly expanding form of communication.

SMS marketing, however, is often misunderstood. There is a common misconception that SMS messages are no longer relevant to younger consumers or are illegal because of laws such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Can-Spam Act.

However, the truth of text marketing is quite different. Currently, businesses are sending 36% more SMS campaigns than they were a year ago — which has led to a 28% increase in conversion rates.

Text messages are powerful because they directly reach one specific audience member at a time - via the most intimate medium available: their mobile device. That could also be the reason why consumers from Generation Z and millennials prefer text messaging for immediate questions, instant replies, and real-time transactions, according to a Mitto study from May 2022.

But as with email marketing, your SMS marketing campaigns need to keep up with the times in order to reach the right audience effectively. For instance, GenZ SMS marketing should focus on solving a specific issue. An excellent example of this would be automated text appointment reminders. 

Not only will these messages be helpful to your young clients, but they can easily be set up to receive a Yes/No response; making it easier for them to respond immediately.

5 Strategies for Effective Email & SMS Marketing

In a world where more than 293 billion emails are sent on a daily basis, what are you going to do to make sure your business stays ahead of the competition and makes more money through customer engagement?

Send At The Right Time

The average time it takes people to open messages is three minutes, so one might assume that it's okay to send messages at any time. However, picking the wrong time (busy hours, late nights, early mornings, etc.) can lead to reduced open and click-through rates.

When sending international texts, it's important to consider time zones. Businesses must also remember that clients are most likely to respond to SMS promotions, sales, and events if they are in a hurry to make a purchase at the last minute, yet another factor to consider when deciding on the best time. 

It is essential to time your email campaigns properly if you want them to be successful. Obviously, improving open and click-through rates is your goal, so choosing the right time should be one of your top priorities.

According to Reach, a good time for retail stores to send SMS marketing campaigns is on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm or on Sundays from 3 pm to 7 pm. However, many experts believe that sending emails on workdays increases their visibility since the average user is more likely to check their email during work hours.

As for the frequency, SendGrid reported that 31% of American consumers prefer brands to contact them on a weekly basis, but only 15% would tolerate daily texts from their favorite brands. The art is in finding the perfect balance.

Segment Your Contacts

It is pretty inconvenient to have a long list of subscribers. Email and sms marketing campaigns should be broken down into strategic chunks to maximize their effectiveness. And no, categorizing your audience by age does not count.

You can take advantage of generational traits and preferences when developing your SMS strategy, but only as a starting point for personalization. If you’re a B2B company, then segmenting your list based on professional activities and relations might be a good idea.

You could also go by different stages of the marketing funnel, as a fresh lead has different needs than a qualified lead near the bottom of the funnel. 

According to Lyris’s Annual Email Optimizer Report, companies that segment their email lists generate 24% more sales. It is important for subscribers to receive relevant content that matches their interests - as it’s part of creating a positive customer experience. In light of this, segmenting your lists properly is crucial for maximizing engagement.

You'll have an easier time segmenting your lists if your team uses an email tool, which probably has functions to help simplify the process.

Valuable & Interactive Messages

It doesn’t matter if it’s your SMS or email marketing campaign, engaging subscribers and providing value to them are as important as picking the right time and segmenting your list. As long as you provide consistent value to your subscribers, they are more inclined to open and read your messages. In fact, they might even look forward to receiving your messages.

In today's world, most email services are associated with a specific app or website, however, marketing specialists believe value-driven and interactive emails are set to become a major trend in the near future.

With the use of appealing video clips, engaging calls to action, and integrated instant messaging, e-mail marketing materials could be converted into customer service portals.

Run Split Tests (A/B Testing)

In the same way as with other forms of marketing, email and sms marketing needs to be constantly tested and analyzed so that you can build on your successes and learn from your mistakes. By using A/B tests, you can try different content and subject lines in a single email to find out what performs best. 

Unless you test the effectiveness of your messaging, you won't know if you are getting the best return on your investment or not. Note that split testing doesn't need to be a comprehensive, elaborate process. There's nothing wrong with starting small and building on your experience. All you need to do is start.

At JM&Co. A/B tests are included in all of our Email/SMS campaigns, as well as subject line, content, and timing tests performance analysis to ensure that you’re always achieving the best results.

List Cleaning

Cleaning your contact list involves removing email addresses or phone numbers from your database if they have been inactive for some time or if they have unsubscribed. By doing so, you will improve the recipient's perception of your company and the delivery of your messages as a whole. 

If you are going to go through your list to remove some contacts, you should first check to see if they are really inactive or just disengaged. In the former case, you might have to discard them, whereas in the latter case, you might still have a chance to gain their loyalty.

For this to work, you'll need to define "disengaged" and make it clear whether you’re targeting those who haven’t replied to your marketing efforts for, say, longer than 3 months or simply those who haven’t made a purchase in a while.

Lastly, each text message must include a cancellation option. Give customers the option to instantly unsubscribe by sending certain numbers or words. In the case of messages sent to recipients outside of the United States or Canada, include an unsubscribe link.

Email Campaigns Vs. SMS Campaigns 

Email remains the most popular method for brands to communicate with large audiences over the years and (probably) continues to be so. Meanwhile, text marketing (or SMS marketing) is a quick, inexpensive, and dependable method of sending promotions and updates to customers.

The question of whether email marketing or SMS marketing is more effective is similar to asking which is more important to learn a new language: continuous practice or a good memory. Despite its validity, this is likely the wrong question to ask. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but rather when and how to use each and the best ways to use them together.

Here below are a few handpicked suggestions on how to make the most of each. 

What Are Email Campaigns Best For?

The number of emails sent every minute in the world is over 200 million, which is why email marketing continues to be an important and growing trend in modern digital marketing. In contrast to the stale text-only methods of e-mail marketing of days gone by, emails today are engaging, appealing, and multimedia-rich. 

But no matter how helpful emails can be at reaching mass audiences, the benefits will only apply in the right circumstances.

  • Email marketing rates differ widely based on the provider, the number of subscribers, the frequency of sending, and other factors. The price ranges from a few dollars for a basic system to a few thousand dollars for a more sophisticated one.  Due to this, email is best suited to a select few types of communication, such as newsletters. 
  • There are no restrictions to how much text you can include in emails. Therefore, it is ideal for communicating longer-form information, for example, newsletters, company news, or educational information.
  • Direct marketing through email continues to be an effective way to convert visitors into subscribers, buyers, and eventually loyal customers. The journey starts from the moment visitors check their inbox for a confirmation email and continues through up-sell emails, post-stay emails, and feedback emails.
  • When sending an email, you can include an image, video, or other visually appealing elements. It is natural for humans to respond to visual stimuli, and photos and graphics can be highly effective ways to capture your customers' attention.

What Are SMS Campaigns Best For?

Considering Gen Z and millennial audiences' desire for instant communication, brands should invest in SMS communications to build relationships with these audiences. People tend to respond to these types of text messages the most, according to the 2021 US Messaging Engagement Report:

  • Promotional codes and coupons
  • Rewards for loyalty 
  • Announcing future events and sales
  • Discounts on birthdays 

But SMS-based discounts are not always the best way to go.

  • SMS marketing has much higher open and click-through rates compared to email marketing. It is estimated that 50 to 85% of all emails sent are viewed as spam, which makes text messaging an invaluable tool to send last-minute offers or messages that need the audience’s immediate response.
  • Among the least saturated channels for promotional content, text messages remain the most popular. In simpler words, there are not many companies that run SMS marketing campaigns, which increases your chances of capturing your audience's attention.
  • Texts can be sent and received without an Internet connection. That’s one less barrier between you and your consumers when you need to deliver urgent messages like confirmations of postbox deliveries.

Getting The Most of Email & SMS Marketing Power Combo

The use of SMS is a powerful and robust method of engaging customers by sending crisp, well-timed messages. On the other hand, the power of email marketing lies in its ability to reach customers with targeted content, raise brand awareness, establish credibility, and generate more traffic to a website. 

Contrary to other marketing tactics such as TV ads or Google ads, email and SMS are channels customers must choose to receive communications through. 

Consider it this way – It’s not up to you whether you want to see banner ads, PPC ads, social media sponsored ads, or Twitter ads. However, if your contact info appears on a company’s email or text list, you must have checked the box that allows them to send you SMS and email marketing messages.

While this is an amazing advantage, you must be careful not to overwhelm your prospects with promotional material. A business’s message marketing frequency depends on its sector and how often its customers want to hear from it. 

A large SMS or email marketing campaign isn't something you can do yourself. Getting the most out of your digital marketing strategy will require multiple skill sets, analytics, and market insights; all of which are bundled into JM&Co’s email and SMS marketing services.

With the combination of your customized email program and our years of email and SMS delivery expertise, your emails have a much higher chance of being opened and read. Feel free to contact us if you would like to bring these ideas to life.

Final Word

Advertisers who take a strategic multichannel approach to marketing have always been prosperous.

Despite the recent doubts about its relevance, email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels for businesses of all sizes to grow and interact with their audience, and SMS has an equal potential to generate significant ROI thanks to its convenience for consumers.

In the right hands, each method can attract attention and generate significant excitement that leads to increasing positive outcomes. But SMS and email marketing should be used together if possible. Using each route has its own advantages, which can be maximized by combining them.

At the end of the day, no rule says you must use only one form of communication in your marketing strategy. In fact, it is common practice for the most competitive companies to use several channels to attract as many customers and potential buyers as possible.

As a final note, remember that marketing does not always have to be sales-oriented. It can also enhance performance and customer satisfaction, especially for businesses that offer appointments or meetings as part of their service. 

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